Friday, 7 January 2011
To Beard or Not To Beard
New year, new beard. It's an unorthadox way to begin, but I'm running it over in my head now on a daily basis. One day I like it, one day I don't. I might shave my head, lose the burns and keep the Cesar, like the latino gangsters on CSI Miami who growl things like 'Ese' and 'Cabron'. Then again, I could shave the mo and go barn-building with the Amish.
Some say that it suits me because it defines my chin (i.e. differentiates it from my neck) while others have a damn good laugh and ask if they can hide in it. A few hairs in the moustache are definitely ginger-coloured, and I can't work out if that's better or worse than grey.
How does the beard dilemma come about? In England (on the off chance I ever have any continental readers) we have a thing called Movember - basically, for the entire month of November, the sturdy Englishman refuses to shave his moustache (or in the modern parlance, his 'mo') in the name of charity. A couple of months ago, the TV cameras at Look East strolled round Norwich to find the best mo, and they found contenders with just the mo, some with goatees and some with whiskers as bushy as Brian Blessed poking his head out of a rhodedendron. Doubtful but resigned girlfriends lingered in the background, unsure as to when their loved one suddenly started to look like a cricketer from the 1880s.
I didn't participate in Movember. For a start, I didn't hear about it until the month was all but over, and most of the people I know are women (and there's no polite way to ask a girl if she's growing a moustache on purpose, or whether it just happens that way.) A guy at work who carefully cultivates his mo and keeps it regularly waxed at the corners like Evil Roy Gato suggested that I couldn't even grow a beard at my tender age. I may indeed have skin as soft as the proverbial baby's bottom and be a regular victim of any kind of reverse psychology, but I knew an insult to my manhood when I saw one.
Thus, I am a man. I can grow a beard, and never have before, so this is my rite of passage. No amused shaking of a head or concern over lack of style shall sway me from my beardy path. With every day, it spreads further, absorbing more ground, like a furry facial forestfire. When will it end? Friends, only when I am cast as the villain in a Hollywood movie. For if there's one thing we can say about bearded Englishmen, they never get to play the good guy.